Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

By: Katherine Wachter

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also know as OCD, is a disorder of the brain and behavior. In those affected, OCD causes severe anxiety. People with OCD have thoughts or obsessions, images or impulses that occur over and over again. That person then feels like as though they have done something wrong and is then faced with anxiety. Obsessions are usually accompanied by intense and uncomfortable feelings such as fear, disgust, doubt or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is 'just right'. It also consists of compulsions; actions that you do repeatedly throughout the day.

OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. There are generally two age ranges when OCD tends to first appears.

  • Between the ages 8 and 12.
  • Between late teens and early adulthood.

According to IOCDF.org, about 1 in 100 adults, -- or between 2 to 3 million adults in the US --, suffer from OCD. There are at least 1 in 200 -- or 500,000 -- kids and teens that suffer from OCD

If you have already done these things listed below then there is a good chance that you have OCD.

  • Washing your hands, showering too much, or changing your clothes too many times
  • Cleaning your belongings too carefully or too many times
  • Having to say special words, numbers, or names, as if you were doing a magical ritual to keep bad things from happening
  • Making your letters perfect when you are writing (or else having to erase them and write them over a lot)
  • And more....

People with OCD can get help from a professional that knows how to do a special treatment called Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The most effective treatment are a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERPs are typically done by a licensed mental health professional (such as a psychologist, social worker, or mental health counselor) in an outpatient setting.

The most important thing to do when you suspect you have OCD is to tell someone about it. For kids, tell your trusted adults. And for adults, tell a trusted psychiatrist.

To learn more about OCD, go to:

http://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

Most of the information on this tackk was taken from the site listed above.

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